Showing posts from October, 2010

Offbeat handsets at decent prices

It's always been frustrating for me that so many good handsets come late to the Indian market, and then they are way over-priced. I was walking around Croma yesterday and came across a couple of good deals on good handsets. They are not the best or latest phones, but they are fantastic value for money at the price and both will offer  you solid performance. As a co-incidence, both are also touch+QWERTY phones!

1) Motorola Milestone (see the full specs here)

(picture from  Fonearena)
The Milestone is the GSM, international version of the much-hailed Motorola Droid which was launched in US in 2009. It has only recently made its way to India. And it is currently selling in Croma Mumbai at Rs.22,000 which is a great deal.

The pros for the device are
1) It's the best Android QWERTY phones available in India as of date. It runs Android 2.1. There are very few of those, for people who prefer typing to touch screen
2) It's a great phone for people who do a lot of web browsing, typi…

CDMA Phones come of age

CDMA users often complain online about their lesser choice of handsets, and the fact that CDMA phones often tend to have less features, yet are more expensive, than their GSM counterparts.

Truth to tell, CDMA as a wireless access technology has lagged behind in India, accounting for just 20% of the countries 670 million subscribers. Worldwide, according to this article in GigaOm, there are 500 million plus CDMA subscribers as against 3.45 billion GSM subscribers, so that makes less than 15% of CDMA users worldwide. Add to this one more statistic, that 70% of the CDMA users (roughly 300 million) are in Asia Pacific!

Indian site reported recently that Apple was in talks with Reliance and Tata Tele to launch a CDMA version of iPhone in the Indian market. Add to this, the fact that high end phones like Samsung Epic and HTC Evo are available on 4 G networks. I would say that for the first time, some truly top-class phones are becoming accessible for CDMA subscribers. The launch …

QWERTY phones for 2010

So many people I know prefer the familiarity of a QWERTY keypad, to a touchscreen. Though a well designed touch interface can be easy and intuitive to use, there are times (mails, SMS, one-handed typing?) when QWERTY can just be so much more convenient.

Following in the steps of the iPhone, most major operating systems and hardware are now touch driven, leading me to predict in an earlier post that a smartphone will necessarily have a touch screen. But there are still a limited set of good models with QWERTY pads, across budget ranges and operating systems, so let's have a look at what you can get:

1) Android

The choice of QWERTY phones operating Android is quite limited. Leading the pack is the newly launched Samsung EPIC 4G.Do note that this is a CDMA Phone and given the current limited choice of CDMA handsets, it leads the pack

This slider phone (touch screen + QWERTY) is a successor to Samsung's flagship Galaxy S range, with similar hardware specs including 1 Ghhz process…

Steering wheel spinner

My dad is not going to approve of this post because he does not believe in driving with one hand and this is about an invention that is designed to let you do just that.
I recently saw one of these in an acquaintances car and I thought I should blog about it. It's called a suicide knob or a steering wheel spinner and as the hotrodgirl entertainingly puts it "The steering wheel spinner was popular back in the 50's so you could drive with one hand and wrap the other around that special someone!" 

Historically, in pre-power steering days, suicide knobs became popular as a fashion accessory in cars where they were used to turn and accelerate at the same time, making the tires spin. But they were basically used on trucks and forklifts for frequent sharp turns  

On a more serious note, they are also used by disabled drivers as an aide. 

A suicide knob looks like this (image from

 And if you google a bit, you can find it in many attractive colors and sizes

I have n…

Updates on Android - end 2010

Quite a few people I know are looking to buy the latest android phones or tablets. Question is, what  to pick up? For me, the dilemma is that both Android enabled hardware and software are still in flux, and in the process of getting upgraded. I would advise anyone who wants to spend big bucks (Rs. 25000 or more) to wait a bit, if they can.

It appears from this PC World article that Android 3.0 (codenamed Gingerbread) will be a fantastic update. It will be faster, offer better integration with Google, feature an improved user interface and utilise more powerful hardware. It appears to make little sense then to invest in devices like Sony Xperia and Dell Streak which are still running only Android 1.6. Take a look at the chart below from the androphones site, which demonstrates that not only is 70% of the market on the latest two versions of Android, but a huge chunk are already on 2.2 (Froyo) which is the latest stable update.

And what is in store on the hardware front? This post on S…

3G rollout by December 2010?

Earlier I had posted  about the 3G auctions in India and the winners in each circle. It was expected that 3G services would be rolled out by operators starting October 2010.

It appears that the rollout dates are delayed slightly. The government has already allocated the spectrum to the operators. Tata Docomo has announced launch a Diwali launch of its 3G services in 9 circles (Mah. & Goa, Karnataka, Gujarat, Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, MP and Chattisgarh, Rajasthan, West UP). The launch may initially be restricted to the top cities. In Mumbai, Reliance, Vodafone and Airtel have promised a rollout by December. No operator has a pan India license, so it is likely that 3G will be introduced in a phased manner across the country.

Now all we can do it wait...

Setting up push mail on Samsung Wave

I have put together this tutorial on activating your push mail on Samsung Wave. While the process was not easy and intuitive as it was on my Nokia E63, it nevertheless worked perfectly for me. I have seen in consumer forums that some users have struggled with it, so I thought of posting this tutorial. Hope this helps other Wave users.

To start with, the Samsung Wave uses Exchange ActivSync (EAS), a Microsoft software that allows PDAs and wireless devices to synchronise mail, contacts etc. with mail servers. Gmail, and more recently hotmail support EAS. I have been searching the net to see if Yahoo! mail supports EAS but can't find a confirmation. Based on my own experience, I can put down the process for setting up gmail and hotmail on your phone.

1. Press the diamond shaped centre key on the phone to go to the menu, where you should see the my accounts option

2. Under my accounts, you will see the following screen, directly click on Exchange ActiveSync Icon

3. You will see the fo…

Why I bought a Samsung Wave

Here's a confession - I have never spent more than Rs. 10,000 on a phone (excluding exchange price on the old handset). Not because I don't believe that high end phones are worth it, but because of my priorities in life. My job requires me to almost constantly work on a laptop, so I would rather put extra money into a high-powered ultraportable. And my first love is music, so I would rather spend on a dedicated MP3 player and 'phones which will give me years of listening pleasure.

The new generation of smartphones have upped my cellphone budget, because with their capabilities they are  mini-computers and fairly serious contenders for a netbook replacement.

And so I have replaced my Nokia E63 with the Samsung Wave.

My reason for purchase? It's fantastic value for money in terms of specs offered at the price!

The expected price of iPhone 4 in India is at least Rs. 35,000 and the price of most comparable Android powered smartphones is Rs. 28,000 +, including Samsung&#…